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Students Partner with Abbey Gardens in Construction of Creative Exchange Mart


A Spring 2012 Project for Sustainable Building Design and Construction


Fleming College’s students in the Sustainable Building Design and Construction (SBDC) program will partner with Abbey Gardens Community Trust in the construction of a Creative Exchange Mart in Ontario. The Sustainable Building Design and Construction project, located in West Guilford, Ontario, will be used to sell goods produced by local growers, artisans and Haliburton Highland’s residents. Construction begins in April 2012.

“We are thrilled to partner with Abbey Gardens,’ stated SBDC Program Coordinator Pat Marcotte. “The goals and vision of Abbey Gardens make it an ideal location for our students to undertake their sustainable building project as part of their curriculum for the 2012 program.”

The Creative Exchange Mart will feature a safety certified kitchen for food artists to prepare their products, an area that will showcase the works of local artisans, quilters, weavers, spinners, authors and musicians and a green roof will be the home for a few goats to attract visitors from afar.

The Mart is the first substantial structure in the Abbey Gardens project that is under development in a largely depleted gravel pit.  In close collaboration with the Hewitt family of Hawk River Construction, the project is envisioned to include greenhouses, solar power generation, aquaculture, flower gardens, composting and an expansion of the existing vegetable gardens.  It is intended that the site would also offer environmental education opportunities and a venue for the performing arts.

“We are delighted to partner with Fleming College on this first construction project at the Abbey Gardens site” said John Patterson, founding President of Abbey Gardens Community Trust.  “To be able to collaborate in this way is totally consistent with the Gardens’ long term intent of working towards the sustainable development of our county and working in cooperation with other great contributors to the area’s future.”

Approximately 26 students from across Canada will participate in the design and construction of the sustainable building and learn about green building technologies and new energy-saving techniques.

“I am thrilled to be part of a fabulous vision that will start taking form this Spring,” said Chair of the Creative Exchange Mart Task Force, Paul MacInnes. “This is an exciting opportunity for Fleming students to gain experience with the design and complete construction of a sustainable project. I look forward to monitoring their progress and seeing the final results.”

The spring 2012 program will be coordinated by Pat Marcotte, owner of HavenCraft Homes, a sustainable building construction company since July 2000. Marcotte has been involved in five of Fleming’s SBDC program’s past projects.  He is a licensed journeyman carpenter, a licensed building designer and holds many related certificates and designations. Faculty will include a host of content experts who have real world experience in sustainable building projects.

Fleming is the first College in Canada to offer a Sustainable Building Design and Construction program. The 20-week program, based out of the Haliburton Campus, is an intensive, hands-on experience that puts students at the centre of the construction of a full-sized and cutting-edge sustainable building.

Established in 2005, students in the Sustainable Building Design and Construction program have successfully completed sustainable projects that include Haliburton’s 4Cs Food Bank and Thrift Shop (2005), R.D. Lawrence Place (2006), Madoc Performing Arts Centre (2008), Camp Kawartha Environment Centre (2009), and the Habitat for Humanity LEED Platinum Certified Home (2010).

The College is still accepting applications for the Sustainable Building Design and Construction program.

SBDC program graduates will have a range of career options, depending on their background. They may choose employment with sustainable building or conventional construction companies in Ontario, across Canada and internationally; self-employment as a builder or designer of sustainable homes or as a specialist in a particular field; work in product or service development related to sustainable building; or, work with renewable energy, heating, cooling and ventilation companies, indoor air quality specialists, professional designers, water and waste treatment or ecological renovations companies.


Abbey Gardens Community Trust is a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to assist our community in a collective effort to reduce its carbon footprint and to foster community-based action research projects designed to increase long term ecological and cultural sustainability.


Located in the heart of Central Ontario, Fleming College has campus locations in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton. Named for famous Canadian inventor and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, the college features more than 100 full-time programs in Business and Technology, Continuing Education and Skilled Trades, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Visual Arts, Education, Health and Wellness, and Law, Justice and Community Services. Fleming College has 6,000 full-time and 10,000 part-time students, and more than 60,000 alumni.


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For more information:
Paula Walton, Communications Officer, 705-749-5530 x 1370 or paulaw@flemingc.on.ca
Janine Papadopoulos, Project Manager, 705-754-0888 or abbeygardens.pm@gmail.com